What is Thai massage?
Thai massage is a combination of gentle rocking and stretching movements to loosen joints and muscles. It is carried out on the floor, usually lying on mats, and has earned the name in some quarters as ‘yoga for lazy people’ since it is something done to a person, by another person rather than by themselves.
The therapy is thought to have originated over 2,500 years ago with the renowned physician Jivaka Kumar Bhaccha in India, and traveled to Thailand along with the spread of Buddhism.
Thai massage works on the basis of the existence of the ‘energy body’, which includes ‘sen’ or energy lines. The ten main ‘sen’ are addressed using pressure, compressions and stretches, releasing blockages to restore the free flow of life energy.
The difference between many Western forms of massage in that there is no oil used, the therapist uses a mattress on the floor (as opposed to a massage table), and that the client remains completely clothed throughout the session – which generally last around 90 minutes.
What is the purpose of Thai massage?
The aim is to harmonise the body, to loosen blocks, and to recoup deficiencies along the energy lines. It has similar use to traditional Chinese medicine like acupuncture which uses needles to manipulate the pressure points – instead Thai massage stimulates these same points with healing touch.
Thai massage is considered a perfect complement to any exercise routine, and can be used as a form of physical therapy to help increase the range of motion and muscular strength.
What are the benefits of Thai massage?
The experience of a Thai massage leads to a sense of calmness and rest and a general increase of energy. The treatment also can provide relief for pain and muscle tension, lead to increased flexibility, and improve the blood and lymph circulation.
It is also considered a way to prevent sickness by helping dissolve blocks of energy before they causes problems psychologically or physically.